Which Sleeping Position Is The Best?
The best sleeping position will depend on the individual. For many it is the classic fetal side position, but not for all. For some, it will be stomach sleeping while for others back sleeping. There are yet others who will constantly change from one position to another throughout the night. Here are some further insights on this topic.
Best Mattress For Different Sleeping Positions
The best mattress is the best mattress for you. You can have the best mattress in the world but if it is not catering for your unique sleeping style then it won’t be as good as a regular mattress that suits you better. Experts say that there are about eight different sleeping positions, which can be further subdivided into three main groupings – back, stomach and side. Each group will be best served by a different type of mattress.
1. Back Sleepers – Medium/Medium Firm
Tradition has tended to say that back sleeping is best for health; however, current research has debunked that long-held view; in fact, back sleeping can exacerbate such things as sleep apnea and snoring. The so-called ‘starfish’ sleeping position has also come in for criticism because it ends up putting more pressure on your shoulders. Overall, back sleepers will be best served by a medium to medium-firm mattress; they don’t require as much support as side sleepers because it is only the open space created in the lumbar area which needs support. A two-inch comfort layer should suffice.
2. Side Sleepers – Medium/Soft
Side sleepers require a slightly softer mattress; medium to soft should work. Statistics suggest that nearly half of all side sleepers sleep in the fetal position, as opposed to other positions like the ‘log’ and ‘yearner’ positions, so-called. Due to the empty space created between the shoulder and hip, more support is needed. The side sleeper’s body will need to sink into the mattress, so a comfort layer of about three inches is required.
3. Stomach Sleepers – Firm
Stomach sleepers are less likely to snore, but there is an increased risk of neck and back pain, due to the position the body has to adopt to accommodate. A firmer mattress can help remedy this, somewhat. Side sleeping means there are no real empty areas to support, so your mattress doesn’t need as much ‘give’ in it. If your mattress is too soft it may even hyperextend the lumbar area; thus, one inch of softness should provide enough cushioning.
4. Combination Sleepers – Universal Feel/Medium Firm
If you don’t fall neatly into any one category then you are actually in the majority. Thus, the position which you tend to gravitate towards should be catered to because it is likely to be the position you are in during deep sleep. You can do this by adding in a middle layer that will stop you from sinking too far into the mattress but will also have enough firmness. Foam mattresses are good, in this regard. High-quality latex is perfect; softer near the top but with a surprising amount of firmness within. They tend to have an internal structure eg. pocket coils or offset coils, which aid this dual process.
Overall, the right mattress for you will target the empty, recessed areas your body will make, depending on which sleeping style you tend most to occupy. It is very important to give your spine the right level of support, so that you minimize and hopefully avoid backaches and worse, as you age. A final factor to consider is purchasing a single foam ‘topper’ which can fit over your side of the bed, assuming you don’t sleep alone. That way, you can both have the best night’s sleep, if you don’t happen to have identical sleeping positions.